The field of Affective Computing AC expects to narrow the communicative gap between the highly emotional human and the emotionally challenged computer by developing computational systems that recognize and respond to the affective states of the user.
Sources for mail-order stevia plants Introduction You need not be a South American planter to be a successful stevia grower.
True, home-grown stevia may lack the potency of refined white stevia extract; whole stevioside content generally ranges from 81 to 91 percent, as compared to a leaf level of approximately 12 percent.
Organic gardeners in particular should find stevia an ideal addition to their yield. Though nontoxic, stevia plants have been found to have insect-repelling tendencies. Their very sweetness, in fact, may be a kind of natural defense mechanism against aphids and other bugs that find it not to their taste.
Then, too, raising stevia yourself, whether in your back yard or on your balcony, is another positive way you can personally and quite legally protest the wrongheaded government policies that have for so long deprived the American people of its benefits — a kind of contemporary Victory Garden.
How to Start Your Own Stevia Patch It would be difficult, at best, to start a stevia patch from scratch — that is, by planting seeds. Even if you could get them to germinate, results might well prove disappointing, since stevioside levels can vary greatly in plants grown from seed.
Keep in mind that not all stevia plants are created equal in terms of stevioside content, and, hence, sweetness. Your plants should grow to a height of about 30 inches and a width of 18 to 24 inches.
The Care and Feeding of Stevia Stevia plants do best in a rich, loamy soil — the same kind in which common garden-variety plants thrive. Since the feeder roots tend to be quite near the surface, it is a good idea to add compost for extra nutrients if the soil in your area is sandy.
Besides being sensitive to cold during their developmental stage, the roots can also be adversely affected by excessive levels of moisture. Frequent light watering is recommended during the summer months.
Adding a layer of compost or your favorite mulch around each stevia plant will help keep the shallow feeder roots from drying out. Most organic fertilizers would work well, since they release nitrogen slowly.
Gathering Autumn Stevia Leaves Harvesting should be done as late as possible, since cool autumn temperatures and shorter days tend to intensify the sweetness of the plants as they evolve into a reproductive state. When the time does come to harvest your stevia, the easiest technique is to cut the branches off with pruning shears before stripping the leaves.
As an extra bonus, you might also want to clip off the very tips of the stems and add them to your harvest, as they are apt to contain as much stevioside as do the leaves.
If you live in a relatively frost-free climate, your plants may well be able to survive the winter outside, provided you do not cut the branches too short leaving about 4 inches of stem at the base during pruning. In that case, your most successful harvest will probably come in the second year.
Three-year-old plants will not be as productive and, ideally, should be replaced with new cuttings. Cuttings need to be rooted before planting, using either commercial rooting hormones or a natural base made from willow tree tips, pulverized onto a slurry in your blender. After dipping the cuttings in such a preparation, they should be planted in a rooting medium for two to three weeks, giving the new root system a chance to form.
They should then be potted — preferably in 4. Unlocking the Sweetness in Your Harvest Once all your leaves have been harvested you will need to dry them. This can be accomplished on a screen or net. For a larger application, an alfalfa or grain drier can be used, but about the only way an average gardener might gain access to such a device is to borrow it from a friendly neighborhood farmer.Wanna Be Like Dayanand Shetty, Mumbai, Maharashtra.
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